U.S. Should Get Out of Syria

November 23, 2015

A newly released declassified secret US intelligence report (DOD) written in August 2012 predicted that the formation of a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria and an al-Qaida in Iraq (which became ISIS) controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq would come to fruition. Further, the report indicated “The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition” to the Syrian regime in Damascus.

So, in our leaders’ zeal to overthrow Assad, they gave us the monster which is ISIS.

But, Putin of Russia has given us an out. He is attempting to militarily destroy ISIS in Syria and restore order to that country. Of course, for his intervention he is putting Russian targets at risk of terrorist attacks – think Russian airliner over Sinai.

That is why the time is right for U.S. forces to pull out of Syria. Our intervention there has been a complete failure anyway causing a refugee crisis, rise of a radical Islamist regime, and the exportation of violent extremists to Europe and the Americas. Washington should cut its losses and get out.

By pulling out of Syria and letting Putin fight ISIS, the Obama Administration would save Americans potentially hundreds of billions of dollars and more importantly make us safer.


Crony Capitalism Caused the Crisis

May 15, 2010

Our power-grubbing politicians never shy away from blaming the shortcomings of capitalism for the “Great Recession” of the 21st Century.  The old mantra goes, “capitalism is a flawed system that requires government intervention to alleviate the suffering caused by its shortfalls”.  Supported by their tax dollar dependent cronies in academia and their big government loving mouthpieces in the mainstream media, our ruling elite has been effective in socializing the masses that they know what they are talking about.  It is of course all an attempt to justify expanding the size of government even more so there is more for the politicians to give away to their faithful supporters.

Capitalism did not cause the financial crisis that we are still mired in some 29 months after it began; crony capitalism did.  Crony capitalism is loathed by every proper capitalist because it is more akin to the corrupt socialist systems of the past than to true capitalism.  In true capitalism, the primary responsibility of the government is to protect private property rights and prevent and punish fraud.  How can a system that confiscates private property through taxes (income and property) and transfers that property to others (domestic and foreign welfare) be called capitalist?    How can a system that takes from one to prop up the failure of another be called capitalist?  In terms of fraud, how many bank loan officers and borrowers who provided false information on the mortgage applications that contributed to the crisis have been prosecuted and jailed?  Uncle Sam has a weak record at best when it comes to exhibiting the qualities of a government operating in a capitalist system.

Instead, Washington has built a system based on favoritism and patronage.  Look at “Too big to fail”.  This should be translated into “Our Friends are the best”.  Hundreds of billions, if not trillions of taxpayer dollars, have gone into bailing out companies that in return can be counted on to contribute billions of dollars to Republican and Democratic campaign coffers.  The rationale we were told is that if any one company went under our economy would fall off the cliff.  Really, I don’t remember being airborne when Lehman Brothers was allowed to go belly up.  “Too big to fail” was a hoax perpetrated on the American public so the politicians could repay their campaign benefactors.  And they are at it again with their attempt to institutionalize “too big to fail” in financial reform legislation before the Senate.

In a true capitalist system GM and Chrysler would have been allowed to go bankrupt.  Their assets would have been purchased by other entities and workers would have been hired for hopefully a more profitable endeavor.  The economy would have been rid of a drag on it and therefore would be more able to operate at an efficient level.  Instead, what we got from our crony capitalist system was a huge taxpayer bailout that primarily benefitted the United Auto Workers Union (UAW).  In fact, it’s telling that the entity which for years demanded higher wages and benefits and was most responsible for the demise of GM and Chrysler was able to claim a huge stake in both companies ownership as a result of the government’s bailout deal.  At the end of the day, the UAW is richer, the politicians get their campaign contributions from Motown and the American taxpayer will ultimately have to bail out the car companies again sometime in the future.  

Now, it is true that if the bailed out financial companies were left to go under a lot of honest folks would have lost a lot of money.  But, that is only because of the system the crony capitalists have built.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) allows depositors to place their money in banks without any worry that regardless of how irresponsible their bank may be they will always get their money.  Would you eat at a restaurant that was known for food poisoning?  I didn’t think so, but it doesn’t matter to you that you probably still have your money in a bank that acted irresponsibly and lost it in the early 2000s.  Even though they have brought the economy to its knees you will still get your money through government insurance.  Then, there is Fannie and Freddie Mac who really work on behalf of mortgage lenders and the real estate industry.  These two entities guaranteed (with taxpayer money) all the irresponsible behavior of the failed banks.  When the crisis unfolded what did Uncle Sam do to them?  He bailed them out and allowed them to add even more mortgages to their portfolio.   

In a true capitalist system much of the behavior that brought on the financial crisis would not have happened.  Bankers would have known that they faced the possibility of losing everything, their wealth, career, and even their freedom through reckless and/or fraudulent acts.  Government would not have been there to cushion their fall.  Of course, the biggest thing that would not have been there for them in a capitalist system would have been the existence of a central bank.

Indeed, the Federal Reserve Bank is certainly the most anti-capitalist feature of our economy.  In essence, it is a secretive small cabal of monetary central planners that determine the value of our money and stands ready to act as lender of last resort for over-leveraged banks.  It has been responsible for all of the big economic crises since its inception in 1914.  It caused the Great Depression with its easy credit policies towards banks and Wall Street.  It was responsible for the hyper-inflation of the 1970s and the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s because it monetized the Vietnam War and the social programs of Johnson’s “Great Society” of the 1960s.  In just the last fifteen years, it inflated the dot com and housing bubbles causing the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.  The Fed’s answer to the crisis, lower interest rates and bailout the banks.  There is no question where the Fed’s loyalty lies.  And this loyalty has paid off handsomely for its constituency – Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Morgan Stanley (MS), and Citigroup (C) — together have posted $62 billion in after-tax profits in just the last 18 months!  Meanwhile, the true unemployment rate continues to hover around 17 percent, foreclosures are up, and the cost of health care is through the roof.

True capitalism is not perfect, but then again no system is.  To blame capitalism for the financial crisis is absurd.  We have a crony capitalist system in the United States where politicians pander to corporatists and unions and in return get huge amounts of money to monopolize the political system.  It’s a vicious cycle that benefits Washington.  No wonder it spends all of its time blaming capitalism for crises.

       

Article first published as Crony Capitalism Caused the Crisis on Blogcritics.


Greece is a Harbinger of Things to Come

May 8, 2010

Greece’s bankruptcy proves one thing: welfare states are wasteful and unsustainable.  Since the early 1970s when Greece transitioned from a military dictatorship to a republic, the country has had one socialist government after another.  Years of government largess in the areas of education, health care, paid vacations, and early retirement has brought the nation to its knees and has made it the current number one beggar nation in the world.

Of course, it wasn’t just the wild spending that got the Greek people in trouble.  It was the fraudulent financial records their government submitted to its benefactors to keep the gravy train rolling.  It was also the lack of courage Greek politicians had in making sure that all those government goodies were paid for with tax increases.  You see, Greek politicians for too long were like the parent who just couldn’t say no to their children – ever.  Now, out of necessity, some of the toys bestowed on the Greek children by their government are being taken way and they are throwing a tantrum in the streets of Athens.

Governments like Greece that ultimately do not control their own currency have about two options when the bills come due and the till is dry – default or grovel at the feet of big bankers to loan you more money with which to financially hang yourself.  Greece, of course, has turned to groveling, but at a huge cost.  In order to get bailed out, the Greek government had to enact measures that are foreign to the Greek people.  It had to get its financial house in order by cutting benefits to the citizenry.  Hence, all the stomping of feet, banging of heads, crying, and screaming in the streets.

But, enough about Greece, let’s discuss why this matter is important to the average American.  It is because our gravy train is on the same track as Greece’s.  The only difference is that we can inflate our currency wildly to pay the bills, but only to a point.  Remember the opening line of this article:  welfare states are wasteful and unsustainable.  They are wasteful because they entail taking resources from productive members of society and giving them to unproductive members of society.  Thomas Jefferson warned us about that when he said, “I predict future happiness for 
Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them”. In other words, government should not be in the business of diverting money away from enterprises (new factories, inventions, jobs) that make our economy grow and giving it to groups that contribute little to the well-being of society.  Yes, these groups I speak of include the banking cartel, the military industrial complex, and individual welfare kings and queens.

Welfare states are also unsustainable because you have to fool all the people all of the time, but at the same time you cannot fool the laws of nature.  It is easy to convince a large segment of society that welfare spending is compassionate and is the cost of building a civil society especially since you aren’t raising their taxes to pay for it.  It‘s a piece of cake to convince the underprivileged that they are entitled to public assistance because they somehow are the victims of a harsh economy   As for the banking cartel and military industrial complex, they will gladly accept low-interest loans, bailout funds, and big government contracts as a normal course of doing business.  In this scenario everyone wins.  The working man has low taxes, the underprivileged have income security, the corporate elites have implicit government guarantees against failure, and most importantly the ruling elite collects campaign contributions and votes which install them in office usually for however long they want to “serve”. 

For the last forty years in America this has been the routine.  And our leaders kept telling us that this was not too good to be true.  “We are the United States.  We have the strongest economy in the world.  Someone will always be there to buy our debt – the Europeans, Japanese, Middle East, and China.  Besides, the deficits and national debt don’t matter.”  Do you remember when Dick Cheney told us that one?

But, deficits do matter.  And our national debt is a powder keg waiting to explode.  The laws of nature will catch up with us just like they caught up with Greece.  If and when the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to attempt to quell inflation, the new interest payment on our national debt will be crippling to the federal budget.  If the Fed never raises rates again, our economy will be relegated to the same level as Zimbabwe’s.  At that point, perhaps the Fed governors will attempt to print our way out of trouble.  The only problem is that no one will be interested in buying our debt.  

Article first published as Greece is a Harbinger of Things to Come on Blogcritics.org


Drug Czar Supports More of the Same

April 30, 2010

The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP), a nonprofit organization of scientists, health care practitioners, and academics based in Canada and Britain, released a report this week that found that when government cracks down on the drug trade the result is an increase in violence.  The group reviewed over 300 international studies from the last 20 twenty years.  87 percent of the studies reviewed show a direct correlation between intensified drug law enforcement and drug market violence. 

Of course, this should come as no surprise since even without scientific literature anyone can point to examples from history.  The largest lesson to be learned from the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s was that when government bans a demanded commodity consumers will find a way to get it and suppliers will find a way to supply it – unfortunately more often than not through the use of violence.  Thus, prohibition was a boom to organized crime in the 1920s as its profits soared and crime rates rose.  Similarly, the Drug War in the United States has had few if any victories in regards to reducing drug use and violence on our streets continues to be its biggest shortcoming.  Finally, the current Drug War in Mexico has been a catastrophe for that country.  There have been massive increases in gun violence, beheadings, and kidnappings since Felipe Calderon started the crusade.  Close to 23,000 deaths are attributed to the intensified drug law enforcement.  Worst yet, Mexico’s Drug War no longer threatens to spill over into our country, it is already here.

But, of course the drug warrior class in America, whose very livelihood relies on perpetuating the Drug War, denies the findings of the report support calls for ending drug prohibition.  Former drug czar, John Walters, said that increases in violence after law enforcement crackdowns usually only affect criminals and thus might be in a strange way a reflection of success for anti-drug efforts.  But, this ignores the fact that many who die are innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire of a turf battle.  In Mexico, a U.S. Embassy family, police, soldiers, politicians, and journalists have been killed by drug violence.  Besides, even if only the criminals are dying from shootouts on our streets, who wants that kind of atmosphere and the inherent threats to innocent people it presents in their neighborhood?

Then, there is the current drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, whose reaction to the report was “I don’t know of any reason that legalizing something that essentially is bad for you would make it better, from a fiscal standpoint or a public health stand point or a public safety standpoint”.  Any reasonable person should be incredulous at the drug czar’s remark.  How can he believe that in the face of this study and obvious historical examples of drug prohibition causing violence.

Now, we can do what Czar Kerlikowske would like and stay the course on the Drug War.  That means we will continue to spend $33 billion a year to fight an unwinnable war.  And we will continue to treat folks with severe drug abuse problems like criminals instead of allowing them to get the help they need to become productive citizens.  Lastly, we will continue to cause violence on our streets by keeping something demanded illegal which raises its costs thus attracting the criminal elements to enter the market with deadly force in seeking high profits.

There is a better way.  Decriminalize drugs and drop the law enforcement savings into treatment programs for those that really need it.  Private advertisers should proclaim the dangers of drug abuse in the same way it was proclaimed about cigarette smoking.  Finally, abolish the drug czar position altogether since its occupants are nothing more than advocates for the police state and violence on our streets.  Given the findings of the ICSDP report and what we can observe from historical examples, we seem to have no other choice.

Article first published as Drug Czar Supports More of the Same on Blogcritics.org


Washington Can’t Even Run a Mail Delivery System

March 3, 2010

How can Uncle Sam run national healthcare when it can’t even run a mail delivery system?  This week Postmaster General John E. Potter informed congressional staffers, postal union officials and others in Washington that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is bankrupt and will not survive unless it is given greater flexibility in determining delivery schedules, price increases, and labor costs by lawmakers, postal regulators, and unions.  The remarks were sparked by the fact that the USPS lost $3.8 billion last year and is projected to lose another $238 billion in the next ten years if changes are not made.  These figures notwithstanding, it is amazing to me that in 2010 we still have a government run postal system in America.  Isn’t it time to privatize the Post Office?

Article II Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power “To establish post offices and post roads.  When the Constitution was ratified America was a very different place than it is today.  We were a very rural society with many of our countrymen residing in far off lands to the west.  Mail carriers provided the primary mode of delivery for important letters, documents, and packages.  In their wisdom, the Founders realized that the safest, most effective way for these items to get to their recipients was through a government run system.

But things change and today America is an incredibly advanced country.  We are a technologically savvy nation with websites, email, scanners, text messaging, and other communication devices.  In fact, the Postal Service’s financial woes stem from competition caused by technology.  Last year, the USPS experienced a 13 percent drop in mail volume primarily due to more people using email to communicate than snail mail.  Additionally, companies like UPS and Fed Ex do an excellent job of delivering urgent letters and packages not just in the U.S. but around the globe.  Lastly, some will argue that folks in rural areas will not be serviced if mail delivery became totally private.  But, this would affect very few people in modern America.  Even then the market should decide if a location is worthy of a private mail delivery system.  If the answer is no (no entrepreneur comes forward to provide the service) then those residents could relocate.

Of course, just because the Constitution grants a power to Congress does not mean it has to put it into action.  The changes sought by the Postmaster General would target delivery schedules and prices in order to close the budget gap of the postal system.  It could mean the end of Saturday mail deliveries, longer delivery times, and postage price increases that exceed the rate of inflation.  And Americans would not have a choice because the USPS maintains a legal monopoly over the delivery of non-urgent mail.  This is so typical of a government run enterprise – instead of cutting staff like the rest of America during this recession to save itself, it proposes less service and higher costs for its customers.  This is another reason why government should run nothing and why the USPS should be abolished altogether.

At the end of the day, the USPS is in trouble because it is government run.  It doesn’t react to market conditions by laying off excess staff.  It is burdened with bureaucratic waste and inefficiencies.  Its management has to petition outsiders for permission just to make changes that are needed to ensure its viability.  Even then, because it owns a monopoly over an industry and has an explicit government guarantee against failure it will cut services and raise costs on its customers – something that is not nearly as possible in a market based system.  Lastly, even though it is billions in debt and has long outlived its usefulness, no one in Washington is saying it should be abolished.  Government run enterprises just don’t know when it is time to close up shop.  We have learned these lessons from Washington running a relatively easy enterprise to operate.  The question we have to ask is, do we really want to entrust healthcare, a much more complicated endeavor, to Uncle Sam?


An Open Letter to Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC)

December 27, 2009

Dear Senator Hagan,

It is with great disappointment that I contact you about your support of the Senate’s version of healthcare reform.  Not only will the legislation that you and 59 other misguided souls passed today not address the ills facing our healthcare system, the measure is plagued by the 4 “c’s” – constitutionality, cost, corruption, and consent.

I realize that questioning the constitutionality of Congress taking up healthcare reform in the first place will fall on deaf ears, but humor me for a minute.  All congressional powers are enumerated in Article 1 Section 8 of that document.  Healthcare is not one of them specified in that section therefore it is a power retained by the people or the states through Amendment 10.

Now, I know you are next going to bring up jurisdiction under the “General Welfare” clause in that same section, but suffice it to say it is illogical to construe that the framers of the Constitution intended to give Congress unlimited powers through that clause and then in the same section go on to enumerate specific powers of Congress. 

There is also the question of the meaning of the “interstate commerce” clause.  Power grabbing members of Congress use this one all the time for such things as banning guns in schools and imposing a playoff system on college football.  I am sure members of Congress would argue that healthcare reform also falls under interstate commerce.  Under this convoluted thinking everything could be regulated by Congress.  Y’all seem to ignore the original purpose of the clause – to prevent states from imposing protectionist measures against each other’s industries.  Case in point is our inability to purchase health coverage from other states. 

Of course, the legislation also brings up other Constitutional issues besides whether Congress has jurisdiction over healthcare.  There is the issue of forcing American consumers to purchase something against their will.  There is also the concern that the Medicaid money for Nebraska that bought Senator Nelson’s vote is a violation of the equal protection clause since other states will have to foot the bill for their portion of the increased Medicaid costs that the bill will cause.  Any way you slice it the Senate healthcare reform bill is fraught with all sorts of constitutional issues.  You should have voted against the measure simply to honor your oath to the Constitution.

The second “c” plaguing the healthcare reform bill you voted for is cost.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, claims the legislation would save Medicare $246 billion are erroneous.  In a statement, the CBO indicated that members of your party were essentially “double-counting the impact of the savings the legislation would generate” because the savings “can’t both finance new programs and help pay future expenses for elderly covered under the federal program.” 

In your speech after voting for the measure you indicated that the bill will both reduce costs and expand coverage.  With all due respect, these two things are mutually exclusive.  The subsidies Uncle Sam will pay to the millions of uninsured Americans so they can afford coverage will be enormously expensive.  States will be burdened with paying their share of expanded Medicaid costs.  Furthermore, your statement is reminiscent of the politicians’ claims in 1965 when Medicare Part A  was passed.  They claimed that costs would be $9 billion by 1990.  The actual cost was $67 billion.  In 1987, Medicaid added a special hospital subsidy to its coverage which was projected to cost $100 million.  By 1992, costs stood at $11 billion per year.  You politicians have a hard time saying no to people.  Thus, given logical deduction and historical evidence it is easier to believe that the Senate plan will dramatically increase costs.

The third “c” afflicting the Senate health care bill you supported is corruption.  Thirteen got special perks for their votes totaling tens of billions of dollars.  The most infamous were Mary Landrieu’s “Louisiana Purchase” and Ben Nelson’s “Nebraska Compromise.”  If the bill was so good why did Harry Reid have to bribe members of his own party to vote for it?  How could you support a measure that was laced with so much unfairness to your North Carolina constituents?  Perhaps the biggest question is: since Reid needed every liberal vote three times to end debate why didn’t you hold out for a special perk for North Carolina especially given our state’s budgetary woes?

Lastly, the Senate lacked the consent of the American people to pass the measure.  By 53 percent a majority of Americans disapproved of the legislation.  By 73 to 18 percent a huge number of Americans don’t believe you when you say the legislation will reduce future deficits.  These polls are indicative of how far out of touch members of Congress have become. 

In the final analysis, the Senate healthcare bill does nothing to tackle the causes of rising costs in healthcare.  It does not provide for more consumer responsibility by addressing the 3rd party payer issue.  It does not address the high cost of medication by allowing Americans to purchase cheaper American made drugs from foreign countries.  It does nothing to streamline the approval process imposed by the Food and Drug Administration on drug companies which limits competition and contributes to higher costs.  Most importantly, attempts to curb healthcare costs are in vain as long as Congress continues to allow the reckless inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve to exist.  The Fed’s politically motivated pumping of new dollars and credit into the economy combined with our insatiable demand for healthcare bids the costs of services higher.  Only until we have a sound monetary system will we realize cost reductions in medical care.

In closing, you should be ashamed of your support for Harry Reid’s healthcare boondoggle.  The Senate bill you voted for lacks constitutionality, will not contain healthcare costs, was passed in a corrupt fashion, and was not what a majority of the American people wanted.  May the forces of nullification awaken to confront Congress’ stupidity on this issue!

Your constituent,

Kenn Jacobine


Dennis Kucinich: Poster Child for Non-Existent Constitutional Rights

September 12, 2009

Last week I blogged on how non-existent Constitutional rights granted by Congress and presidents alike were responsible for the bankruptcy of America.  Thus, over the years, some of us have been given the right to a job, a certain wage, free food, retirement income, financial bailout for irresponsible behavior, and so on and so forth.  In 1971, when Nixon took America completely off the Gold Standard, he opened the gate for massive federal spending and tantalized and encouraged our shameless leaders to grant the above mentioned non-existent Constitutional rights and many more. 

This week I received an email from Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio entitled  “A New Movement: Health Care as a Civil Right” .  Sure enough, another member of Congress was at it again.  Seems the congressman along with Representative John Conyers of Michigan and 85 co-sponsors in the House have proposed legislation that would make health care for all a civil right.  Get this; it would be of the single payer variety like they have in Europe.  You know the systems where the citizens boast that their healthcare is free even though they pay exorbitant amounts of taxes to the government and in many situations must wait for care or are denied care altogether.  Kucinich boasts that his plan would eliminate premiums, co-pays, and deductibles.  So I suppose our care would be free as well.  And he also claims that, “All health care assets in America would become not-for-profit.”

As anyone with any common sense knows there is no such thing as something for nothing.  This is precisely why we are in the mess we are in today.  Kucinich is promising something huge that he can’t deliver.  At the very least, someone will have to pay the basic costs of healthcare.  Certainly, doctors, nurses, scientists that develop drugs, and the janitors that clean the hospitals and labs are not going to work for free.  As a matter of fact, smart people in America will either not enter the medical profession or if they already have will go someplace else to make a decent living given the time and expense it has cost them to become doctors.  But, I am sure that when this happens the good congressman would then propose legislation whereby the federal government pays for all medical educations.  You can see where this is bound to go. 

Obviously, if healthcare were to become “free” under any plan that resembled Kucinich’s the taxpayer would foot the bill for the huge expenses that would result.  I know this is a logical fallacy of sorts.  You see the biggest problem with the current system is that individuals do not actually pay for enough of their own healthcare.  On average about only 15 cents of every dollar spent on healthcare comes from individual’s pockets.  The other 85 percent of costs is covered by insurance companies, government and other private sources.  If I am only paying for 15 percent of any commodity then I care little what that commodity costs.  The incentive to comparison shop like you would to buy a car or groceries is non-existent in healthcare.  Someone else is paying for most of the cost.  Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth applies.  Obviously, our healthcare system has more wrong with it than that.  But the point here is that Kucinich’s plan would lower personal costs of healthcare from the current 15 percent to zero.  Logically, then, we would see even larger increases in healthcare costs due to the total disconnect between service and payment responsibility.  Put another way, if something is free, then consumers will use more of it and costs will rise astronomically.  You can’t fool this golden rule of economics.

Of course, Kucinich and his ilk know very little about economics.  It seems he knows even less about the Constitution.  He quotes the Constitution as his rationale for healthcare as a civil right.   According to him, “The Preamble to the United States Constitution and Article One, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution both describe an originating purpose of our United States: to promote the general welfare.”  The “general welfare” clause is an old argument that has been used by the rights granters for a long time.  Of course they take the clause out of context.  They quote it as if it stands alone.  In fact, immediately following the clause in Article 1 Section 8 sixteen enumerated powers of Congress are listed.  What is the purpose of this enumeration of powers if Congress’s powers are unlimited under the “general welfare” clause?  Additionally, general welfare means all of us are affected equally.  No government expenditure affects all of us equally except for those spent on the enumerated powers listed in Article 1 Section 8.  Thus, there is no Constitutional authority for Congress to legislate, regulate, or grant any rights that are not enumerated in Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution.  This includes so-called “free” universal healthcare.

No one knows for sure how the current healthcare reform debate will turn out.  It should be squashed altogether on constitutional grounds.  The proponents of federal socialized medicine do have recourse.  Under Article V of the Constitution they can pursue amending the document to allow them to take up the matter.  Naturally, they won’t do this because it would be a lot of work.  Instead, they just misquote the Constitution and propose healthcare legislation that will allow them to grant a new right and spend us further into bankruptcy.